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Duluth firefighters battling blaze at former Seaway Hotel

Wind chills were 35 below zero Monday morning.

Firefighters are battling a blaze at Duluth's Esmond Building, which was the former Seaway Hotel, on Monday. 

The fire started Monday morning at the condemned building at 2001 W Superior St. According to updates on the Duluth Fire Department's Twitter account, after nearly seven hours from when the blaze was reported firefighters had extinguished the main fire but continued to work on hot spots. 

Firefighters battled the blaze in harsh conditions, with below-zero temperatures and wind chills of 35 below zero. 

The fire department said when they arrived, they found heavy flames on the first floor. But the fire soon reached the roofline and crews were pulled out of the building due to "heavy fire and unsafe conditions."

The roof has collapsed and residents and workers in nearby buildings, including in the Curly's Bar building, have been evacuated as a precaution. 

Meanwhile, at 11:40 a.m., fire crews shut off power to some businesses on Superior Street and West 1st Street. 

Firefighters from Superior, Wisconsin, responded to help battle the blaze. 

The Esmond Building, which the Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority owns, is slated for demolition. This is the second fire at the condemned building in recent weeks. On Dec. 24, 2021, the Duluth Fire Department responded to a small fire on the second floor of the building. 

A person was squatting in the building, with fire officials ruling the cause of the blaze as accidental. There was another accidental fire apparently started by squatters at a condemned home in Duluth last week, too.

The Duluth Fire Department is expected to hold a news conference once the fire is extinguished. 

This is a developing story. 

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